Getting Sites Ready For Reoccupation - A Security Perspective

With talk of the lockdown easing in the next few weeks, many security and facilities professionals are turning their attention to planning for the reoccupation of sites. Security is often one of the few facilities functions which will have had a presence on site throughout the vacant period and security teams will therefore play a key role in getting facilities ready for the return to work.

Here are our top tips for delivering a safe and secure reoccupation:

  • The security officer on site may be the main point of contact for other contractors, including cleaning staff and maintenance engineers, who are also getting the building ready for reoccupation so make sure they know what’s expected of them and who will be in the building when.
  • Inform your insurance company when the building will become reoccupied.
  • As soon as a date for reoccupation is known, then security levels will need to be readjusted. If a site has moved way from manned guarding to a technology-led approach, now might be the time to start to bring back security officers. Reoccupation will be gradual, but businesses may need an increased security presence to support people in the new ways of working.
  • Plan the customer journey through the front-of-house area and adapt it with social distancing and contactless in mind. Consider:
    • Providing security staff with appropriate PPE such as gloves and masks, particularly if they’ll be handling visitors’ bags when they’re scanned etc.
    • Installing transparent screens in front of security officers at reception/ concierge desks
    • Placing graphics on the floor to show employees and visitors where to go and how to ensure social distancing
    • Changing the check-in/ security procedures to reduce human contact. This could include removing the need for access cards for visitors or ensuring they are disinfected between use; and working with the cleaning team to ensure that turnstiles, gates, reception counters  together with any scanning equipment are regularly cleaned and disinfected
    • Introducing anti-bacterial gel in reception areas
  • Explore what technology you can use to keep people safe.
    • Thermal imaging cameras to check for abnormally high human temperatures – a symptom of Covid-19 – may become widespread. This will allow organisations to protect their people from the virus while also supporting them to reopen their buildings and get back to business. Decide whether to opt for fixed or hand-held cameras.
    • Occupancy counters installed in reception areas are good for ensuring a building doesn’t go over its planned capacity as buidings are reoccupied.
  • Decide how to adapt emergency evacuations with social distancing in mind. In the event of a fire, is social distancing important or is the fire the greater threat?
  • Train security officers in the new ways of working and use of any new technology together with their new role in ensuring people’s safety. Has what’s expected of them changed?
  • Finally, before people move back in, carry out a full security risk assessment to ensure the building is safe and secure.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

ONS Stats Make For Sober Reading For Security Industry

The news from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that security officers have one of the highest death dates from Covid-19  – 45.7 deaths per 100,000 people – make for difficult reading for the security profession.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths >>

Some weeks ago, the Government classified licence-holding security professionals as critical workers which meant that many of our colleagues have been on the front line throughout this pandemic. When the rest of the building occupants have been working from home, security officers have been protecting empty buildings or supporting the skeleton staff remaining.

Within the Corps Security family, we have been relatively lucky. We haven’t lost any of our colleagues to the virus. But we are not complacent and are constantly looking for new ways to look after our people. When the pandemic started, we took immediate action to protect our teams and have been amending those provisions as the situation changes.

  • We furloughed all 64 front-line officers who were classified as extremely vulnerable to the virus and needed shielding
  • We’ve changed the shift patterns and working arrangements of another 94 staff members
  • We made sure our people self-isolated where they or their families had symptoms
  • We’ve supplied PPE to our sites where required, including masks, gloves, goggles, anti-bac gel and anti-bac wipes for equipment use – another 10,000 pairs of gloves and 9,000 masks will arrive across all our offices this week to support the new guidance about wearing masks on public transport
  • We’ve introduced Covid-19 site audits for all our client sites to ensure we’re providing the best possible support in keeping our officers safe
  • We’ve also introduced a short form risk assessment to support the Covid-19 site audits and provide feedback to our officers and clients
  • We’ve launched a mandatory Covid-19 online training module for our security officers to ensure they have all the information they need to keep themselves – and others – safe
  • Our line managers are having regular one-to-one check-ins with our security officers who are furloughed to make sure they’re feeling well, both mentally and physically. We’re long-term supporters of Combat Stress and have a strong understanding of how people can be affected mentally by being on the front line

Overall we’re listening to what our security officers need – they’re on the front line of this outbreak.  But even one security officer death as a result of this pandemic is a tragedy. We must work together and do all we can as an industry to ensure no more of our people die as a result of this terrible virus.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Corps Security Launches Thermal Imaging Solution

Corps Security has launched a thermal imaging tool to support organisations as they plan the return to work. The AI body temperature measurement tool, which comes in hand-held, fixed and tripod-mounted options, automatically scans people’s temperatures as they enter buildings allowing organisations to identify anyone with a high temperature – a key Covid-19 symptom.

Installed within 10 minutes, the cameras can simultaneously scan up to 16 faces – up to 3,600 an hour – making them suitable for corporate offices, major performing arts venues, manufacturing facilities, retail outlets and other high footfall locations. The millisecond response means people have no reason to adapt their behaviour as they enter a facility, so business efficiency is unaffected.

To support the implementation of this technology, Corps Security has invested in a bespoke training programme for site-based colleagues who will manage the solution, as well as new standard operating procedures to support rapid deployment. Because the technology is non-contact, there is no risk for either the organisation’s people or security personnel. Security officers are immediately alerted when an abnormal body temperature has been detected, and provided with an image of the person enabling them to sensitively approach the individual.

As organisations start to plan for the reoccupation of their facilities post the lockdown restrictions, thermal imaging cameras will be an essential tool to support business continuity while keeping people safe, said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.  ‘The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, has said it is ‘wholly unrealistic’ to expect life would suddenly return to normal so organisations of all sizes need to plan for a different approach to building occupation. This is one of a number of tools that can help them.”

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Case Study - A Change In Approach - Manned Guarding To Remote Monitoring

The lockdown has changed the way security is delivered to sites across the UK. Read how one property management firm in south London switched from manned guarding to a remote monitoring option to protect their site.

The Challenge

A property management firm in south London was faced with a number of operational challenges to secure their building and assets as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions from the UK-wide lockdown. Faced with these issues they approached Corps Security, as their incumbent security partner, for our guidance and support. Corps usually provides guards to secure their site.

The offices are home to several independent businesses, some of which were providing essential services although operating with reduced staff.  As the restrictions increased it became clear that the building would need to be locked down and an alternative security model put in place.

Corps Security conducted a risk assessment of the site, in consultation with the property manager, the existing security equipment maintainer and our own security site-based team. We identified several appropriate options that would address their specific demands.

Our Solution

The existing building and fire alarm systems were easily enhanced by adding a simple and inexpensive alarms transmission unit, which communicates all alerts to our state-of-the art NSI Gold Accredited Cat II monitoring centre in Scotland, allowing the critical systems to be remotely monitored.

There was already an existing CCTV system that was used to record locally onto a DVR recorder. Through the existing maintenance firm, we arranged to have this connected to our monitoring centre over a broadband connection on a secure VPN. This, combined with the existing building sensors, enabled us to provide a robust sensor-activated security solution.

In addition to securing the building itself, during the initial assessment of the site the property manager mentioned that his own staff would need occasional access to the building along with cleaning and maintenance staff. An existing swipe card access system was already in place and, in partnership with the maintenance firm, we were able to configure secure remote access to the site controlling the doors remotely through our monitoring centre. An inexpensive Voice Over IP (VoIP) intercom with camera was added to the main entrance and we agreed several protocols to ensure secure access. As an emergency back-up, we installed a remotely-monitored, Bluetooth-enabled key safe on the external wall of the building to cater for any failure of the door access system. The Secured by Design product is  olice and Insurance Association approved.

In order to protect the staff visiting the building, who could be classified as lone workers in the current environment, they were issued with our Corps/Zonith remotely-monitored Personal Protection and Positioning System app. It’s installed on their mobile phones and protection is enhanced with an ID badge holder with an integrated panic button. This links back to our monitoring system and ensures that if they had an accident while on site, or were under threat, they could alert our monitoring centre.

The Business Benefits

By designing an holistic and integrated solution that addressed the specific demands of the site, the building was protected from any potential incident – intruder, fire, flood or serious incident.

The proactive monitoring solution could be efficiently escalated using verified evidence to the emergency services or key holders alongside Corps Security’ own mobile response teams.

Other options

Prior to confirmation that the maintenance firm could attend the site, alternative solutions were considered including Corps Security supplying a 4G GSM transmission unit with in-built Sim card, passive infra-red sensors and smoke/heat detectors. An ideal solution for buildings without existing monitored intruder or fire alarm systems, the device is plugged into a power socket and also houses an internal battery backup with the power availability also monitored remotely.

In parallel, a plug-and-play 4G router option is also available where a maintainer is unable to connect an existing DVR to a monitored broadband line due to the current movement restrictions. This solution securely transmits live sensor-activated CCTV footage to the Corps monitoring centre in the event of a trigger from an existing sensor, intruder or fire alarm system.

All the systems detailed provide a solid foundation for providing secure remotely-monitored electronic security solutions which Corps Security has the in-house expertise to scale to enterprise-level nationally.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Covid-19 - Mind Your Health, Wellbeing and Finances

The past few weeks have changed our lives and the way we used to do things. COVID-19 and the current lockdown affected our economic, physical and mental well-being.

It has been a difficult time for all of us and some are coping with the new unprecedented situation better than others. We are in this together and let’s not forget about others. There are many tools and websites, which could help each of us in dealing with different aspects of the Coronavirus impact on our lives.

  1. CONNECT with friends and family using technology
  2. DISCONNECT from fake news and excessive information
  3. PLAN a routine and find time to unwind
  4. EXERCISE and sleep well
  5. Be COMPASSIONATE and think of others
  6. STOP, take a deep breath and be positive

Find out more about the COVID-19 through the following website, which offers free e-learning short courses:

Here are some tools and resources that may be useful to you at this difficult time.

We have a confidential and anonymous Employee Assistance Program provided by Wellbeing. It offers support, advice, counselling and signposting on a range of issues and is accessible 24 hours a day either online or via telephone. Visit

To enter the Employee Assistance Online website, you will need to use the access code: corps

Other Resources Include:

Alcohol Advice

Anger Management

Support for Carers

Domestic Abuse
(support for male victims) –
(support for all) –

Depression and Anxiety


Grief and Bereavement

Support for Single Parents

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Financial Support

or contact you mortgage lender for further information on the options available to you.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Security Technology And The Pandemic - A Two-Stage Process

There are two distinct stages to the role of technology in the security response to the pandemic. The first stage is the impact of new technology during lockdown and the second stage is post-lockdown, when restrictions are eased. That was the message from Mike Bluestone, director of Corps Security, speaking last week at a webinar focusing on how technology is helping or hindering security.

“In the first stage we’ve used a combination of remote monitoring, mobile patrols and the presence of static guarding teams to help to mitigate against the impact of increased levels of organised, or opportunist crime, and anti-social, behaviour” he said. “This is vital given that the police are under pressure, and suffering their own depleted ranks due to contagion.” The use of portable devices by security personnel is another tool to enable real-time reporting of incidents, and ensure appropriate alerts, and where appropriate, police and other blue light responses. He also said there was a need to factor in the risk of cyber-attacks. Therefore in vacated buildings, the integrity of server rooms, anti-flood protection, air-con/cooling durability is of equal importance to the quality of firewalls, virus tracking software, and maintaining strong SOPs and password protection, he said.

But Bluestone’s was equally focused on the second phase, once lockdown restrictions were lifted. “There will be no ‘flick of a switch’ scenario when we go from what is effectively a state of house-arrest to total freedom,” he said. “The security industry will play a key role in supporting businesses to reopen, particularly through the use of thermal imaging cameras to check for abnormal human temperatures and on overseeing effective access control while supporting social distancing.”

The webinar, which was chaired by Martin Gill, also heard from Australia-based Chris Cubbage, director and executive editor, My Security Media Pty,  Mark Folmer, in Canada, vice president of TrackTik; and Monica Verma from Norway, board member, CSA Norway and Chief Information Security Office. If you missed it, simply click on the link below to view the recording.

>> Webinar – “How Are Technologies Helping And Hindering Security?”


We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Supporting Security Staff During The Pandemic

The Government’s decision to classify SIA licence-holding security professionals as critical workers has meant that in many cases security officers are the last people standing in a building. Overall the Coronavirus outbreak has meant significant change for our front-line security officers.

In some instances, their shift patterns have changed where we’re required to provide day cover to maintain a presence in a largely empty building, whereas before it was mainly nights and weekends. Some relief officers are now mobile, serving a number of different sites where it’s safe to do so, whereas before many were based in just one building. Others are supporting critical infrastructure sites and are working longer shifts. Our colleagues at our remote monitoring centre in Glasgow are busier than ever as many clients turn to technology to protect empty premises rather than have an officer on site.  At the same time, our officers are playing a vital role in supporting the Police service, which is already stretched.

Meanwhile, like many others on the front line, some of our officers are unwell, or self-isolating because a member of their family has the virus. Many have caring responsibilities in their household to work around. In our offices, our people are busy managing constantly-changing customer needs with our security officer’s constantly-changing availability. It’s a tricky balancing act for everyone.

The key to making it work – and ensuring that people remain engaged, motivated and healthy – is good communication. Usually that would be through regular site visits, but obviously that’s not an option now. Instead, we’re using our colleague portal, emails, phone and video calls, letters and other channels to share advice so that they feel confident in their role and supported.

Many of our officers are faced with dealing with people who are showing symptoms of Covid19, so we’ve provided step-by-step advice on how to support those customers while also protecting themselves. Giving them the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is obviously a key part of that, as well as instructions on how to use it properly. Public transport has been reduced in some areas, and helping colleagues plan their journeys, which are often at anti-social hours, is key, with our central scheduling department and local management teams supporting them with route planning. Our previous approach to getting people to site in an emergency – known as lift to shift – isn’t appropriate in these circumstances so we’re adopting new ways of working.

Regular one-to-one check-ins with our security officers is also important. Their line manager will know them better than anyone and there’s already a trusted relationship in place. Making sure they’re feeling well, both mentally and physically, and taking the time to recharge is essential. We’re long-term supporters of Combat Stress and have a strong understanding of how people can be affected mentally by being on the front line and how mental wellbeing is important.

Overall we’re listening to what our security officers need – they’re on the front line of this outbreak.  The next few weeks and months are challenging times for us all. By listening to our front-line teams, we can ensure they provide the best possible care to our customers while also looking after themselves.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

How is Technology Helping and Hindering Security

To what extent is technology offering new opportunities for better security and where is it floundering?

How are these technologies interacting with people? After the Coronavirus crisis will there be more or less interest in technology? Those are just some of the questions that will be debated by Mike Bluestone from Corps Security and other panellists at an upcoming webinar at 3.30pm on Thursday 23 April.

>> Register Here

The thought leadership webinar, run by the OSPAs, Perpetuity Research and TECAs, will also explore what we are learning about security technologies as the pandemic unfolds; to what extent offenders are exploiting technology and where are the opportunities for security technologies?

Sign up for your free place here.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Securing the future - the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the security sector

Walk through any of our major cities and they are almost unrecognisable from just a month ago. Deserted streets, shuttered shops, closed-down buildings, empty pubs and restaurants. Our built environment has been completely transformed by the current Government lockdown.

And that has had an inevitable impact on people looking after those buildings. It’s meant changes for everyone from cleaning operatives and maintenance engineers to catering staff and, of course, security officers. Some organisations have closed down their buildings entirely while others are operating a skeleton staff.  Meanwhile those who are considered part of the national infrastructure – food shops, financial services, utilities, distribution centres, police stations and of course hospitals – are often busier than ever but operating in a different way.

For us, it’s meant supporting our clients differently. Sometimes that’s been helping them to close down their building securely and providing a skeleton security cover while it’s vacant to protect critical assets. That’s been the case with some museums and major performing arts venues.  Elsewhere, reception staff have been furloughed in some instances and our security officers are now providing day cover to maintain a presence in a largely empty building, whereas before it was mainly nights and weekends. Other organisations have turned to technology to provide security through our remote monitoring centre in Glasgow, or adopting mobile patrols to replace on-site officers.

We always work incredibly closely with the Police Service, but at a time like this, with policing stretched like never before, we’re working even closer to support them. That will continue as we face different challenges as this pandemic develops.

Overall the security sector has been less affected by Covid-19 than other soft services like catering and cleaning as it’s seen as an essential service – as demonstrated by the Government’s decision to classify licence-holding security professionals as critical workers. But we remain a people-based organisation and protecting and supporting our on-site teams is our main priority. Some of our people are ill, or self-isolating, and we need to support them back to good health, while also working to protect our teams on-site who are still working. Clients’ needs are changing day by day,  so it’s a tricky balancing act to ensure we have the right resources where they need to be.

One thing is certain, one day these empty buidings and streets will be buzzing with people again, and security officers – and other essential workers – will be the only ones to remember a time when they lay silent.

We’ve set up a dedicated coronavirus support team to answer any questions about the impact of coronavirus on your business. Please contact us on and we’ll do our best to help.

Security For Unoccupied Buildings - Staying Safe In Tough Times

Among the long list of things for businesses to address in a pandemic is how to ensure unoccupied properties stay secure and protected without the usual procedures in place. With well managed security procedures, this need not weigh on anyone’s mind.

Start with the basics; it is surprisingly easy for the finer details to be forgotten when the mind is under pressure. Every site should be checked over before being closed down for this indefinite period. Check locks on windows and doors. Taps mustn’t be left running, or even dripping, and high voltage equipment should be unplugged. Some systems may need to be left running. Server rooms must be maintained and kept cool so thermostats and cooling systems must be checked. Any maintenance  issues need to be sorted out before the building is left unoccupied to minimize risks of flooding, fire, or any other accident. That said, there is always a chance of the unexpected. Take standard flood protection such as placing any valuable equipment on basement or ground level floors onto pedestals.

Security systems, likewise, will need to be checked. Alarms and cameras all need to be in good working order and their systems linked to any remote monitoring centres that the organization works with. This offers 24/7 supervision but that alone is limited if security protocols are not up to date and security officers don’t have current information about who to contact in the case of an incident. Work closely with your security professionals to ensure all appropriate systems are in place.

Organisations can make themselves less of a target by removing any high value assets from the premises. Any portable devices certainly fall into this category but so does anything that would make access to valuables easier such as keys, data that could risk a cybersecurity breach and hard-copy data.  Two-way radio units that may have a counterpart still active on another site must be removed but returned as soon as the site is in use again.

Once you have made the building suitable to be left unoccupied, additional security procedures will be put in place. In the ideal situation, on-lookers will believe that the building is still occupied. This might mean leaving on lights in strategic places and ensuring the exterior remains well maintained for the entire duration it is empty. Good exterior lighting can be as effective a deterrent as CCTV cameras so it is well worth investing in. Liveried vehicles and mobile security teams are not only important elements of security but also act as deterrents. An integrated security solution which utilises officers, expertise, and technology will offer security through this challenging period. Organisations need to keep open strong communication networks with their security teams. These teams can offer many years of experience, ultimately offering the peace of mind that we all need in this stressful time.